AILA's Pro Bono Newsletter

Pro Bono Newsletter, Fall 2012

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voices of pro bono "I believe that every person who has the privilege to obtain a law degree has the obligation to perform pro bono work. I am a solo practitioner and I have always tried to have at least one open pro bono case. A pro bono case is not that case where the client no longer wants to pay you—a pro bono case is a case that you do because you know that you are going to make a difference in a person's life. Helping an abused or disabled child, or a battered spouse, and knowing that you made a difference is more valuable to me than a legal fee. As a solo practitioner, I know I cannot do a lot in the area of pro bono, but I can do something." —ER WHY DO YOU PRO BONO? Share your story with us! E-mail us at " I have had the privilege of working on VAWA and U visa cases on a pro bono basis and doing so has been extremely rewarding. My clients are always very grateful for the services and the benefits they receive are truly life-changing. Furthermore, working on these cases has improved my skills as an immigration attorney and solo practitioner, because doing so provides a wonderful opportunity to be mentored by more experienced attorneys." —MK "I do pro bono work because I can, certainly not because I have the time ... but I have a skill and knowledge to share with others who do not and need it. Doing pro bono work in the legal community is the most enriching way to give to others. One can easily give money to a charity, but it's hard to give your time. In turn, what I have given for free has been paid back in more than just dollars. It has helped me develop a better reputation in the legal community. ... The trust and reputation keeps me on my A game, which can only mean better results for all my clients and continuously helps my practice to grow." —CD "I am the mother of a son with relatively severe autism. I know how hard a special needs diagnosis impacts a family financially—even when the family has financial resources. So when I opened my own practice a few years ago, I decided that I would handle all cases involving special needs kids pro bono. I don't advertise this. I just do it. I'm not sure that this has necessarily helped with networking or expanding my practice. But it definitely helps enrich my life, and makes me feel as if I'm giving back to my own son in a way." —KC MISS AN ISSUE? No Sweat. Check out AILA's archive. "Pro bono and for that matter, any kind of public service can be very gratifying personally, but even if you do not catch the bug right away, it is enlightened self-interest to participate in pro bono. Those who engage in and lead pro bono programs are or have access to the leaders of the legal and business communities. They can become a valuable resource as you develop your career. ... Sometimes it is just interesting, fun and gratify- ing. Imagine how the associate at my firm must have felt when he called the Iraqi translator, who he was representing to advise that his application for asylum was granted and was told by the translator that he received this news while on the Staten Island Ferry passing right by the Statue of Liberty." —DG FOLLOW AILA FOR THE LATEST ON IMMIGRATION! YOUTUBE, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, and LINKEDIN COPYRIGHT © 2012 AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRINTED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER. SEND REPRINT REQUESTS TO PUBS@AILA.ORG 6

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